April 28, 2013

April 26, 2013 Lower Body

  • Squats: 315*1 335*1 355*1 365*X-lower back folded
  • Pin Squats: 275*2 300*1 NEW PR!!
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 185*2 195*1
  • Split-Stance RDLs: 135*4 155*4 175*4
  • Paloffs: 100*10 110*7
  • Sled-Push: 135*4
45 minutes

On squats my legs/posterior chain didn't fail, lower back can't support that much weight, need to bring it up somehow.  Maybe good-mornings? I'll have to figure something out.  Pin squats hit 300 finally. Felt good.  Next did some bulgarian split squats, but what I was really waiting for was Split-Stance RDLs.  REALLY felt these in the belly of my hamstrings. I thought the 135 would be a light warmup, instead it ended up being my first working set.  Crazy good beating of my hamstrings on these.  Couldn't do walking lunges after, no way was I going to be able to go knee to ground and get up after the RDLs. Finished with paloffs, then some sled pushes and was gassed. 

April 25, 2013 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press (Paused Rep) (Cluster Set): 245*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Pullups: 70*4 70*3 70*3
  • Standing Press: 155*3 165*2 175*1
  • Unilateral T-bar Rows: 165*4 175*3 185*3
  • DB Flat Bench: 120*4 120*3
44 minutes

Wasn't sure I'd complete the cluster; then I realized I was going too high on my chest, was almost at the base of my neck.  It's MUCH easier the lower on your chest you go.  Last few reps were actually easier than the first few.  Took about 9 minutes total, so had about 45 seconds between reps.  Up weight next week on pullups.  Standing press I'm getting antsy, I know I don't prioritize it but I want to start pushing the weight up more on it.  Unilateral t-bar rows...probably going to go 155-165-175 next week, feel like I was torquing too much on the 185 set.  

April 27, 2013

April 24, 2013 Sprinting / Broad Jumping & Conditioning

  • 100m: 10
  • Broad Jump: 8' 2", 9' 1", 8' 11"
Wind was strong again, but it was warmer. Swirling wind, was running straight into it for most of the sprinting.  Didn't bother timing it, wind was probably knocking .2 off my times at least.  Last 4 runs were brutal, just beating myself into conditioned shape.  Had shin splints too, not fun.   What was fun, they have a kids group going so there are 5-10 year olds sprinting and jumping around, watching them have a blast was great.  Finished with a few broad jumps.  Definitely get a little further at Harvard than I do at my gym.  Good times.  I'll do one more set of broad jumps at Harvard, before declaring a PR.   As it is, 9' 1" is the record. 

April 23, 2013 Lower Body

  • Deadlift: 315*3 365*1 405*1 435*1
  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*3 150*2 155*1
  • Power Cleans: 185*2 205*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 185*1
  • Sled Pushes: 180*4
  • Plank Sled Drag: 45*1 70*1
45 minutes

Felt good deadlifting here after last week off from deadlifting.  Felt really good.  Hanging Power Snatches went great, was pumped for them.  Got double on 150.  Power cleans went well too.  May do regular cleans next week, not sure. In other news...my gym got some indoor astro-turf, and a flat sled! So happy, I'm going to wear that thing out.  Did some pushes on it, felt them more in my quads than i expected.  Then I did some plank sled drags (tie a rope to a sled, extend the rope out, get in a plank at the end of the rope and pull the sled towards you with one arm.  

April 22, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 295*1 295*1 305*1
  • BB Rows: 225*5 250*5 275*5
  • Push Press: 185*1 225*1 225*1
  • Neutral-Grip Pullups: 70*3 70*3 70*3
  • Landmine Lateral Raises: 45*10 50*7
  • DB Incline: 110*3
44 minutes

Started to do a cluster set, but just did not have the energy in my upper body today, so did 3 1 rep sets. Did some BB Rows after, felt good, and then push press, again kind of lacking energy there too.  Going to up weight on NG pullups next week to 75.  I know I've said it before, but Landmine Lateral Raises are ridiculously good.  I'm losing weight on the cut but I actually have added mass to my lateral delts, which does not happen for me, ever, really. Finished with DB Incline for a quick set.  Good times!

I'm going to link to the landmine lateral raise video again, it's worth showing: 

April 22, 2013 Sprinting

  • 100m: 1
  • 60m: 3
So I wanted to do a little sprinting in the morning before my PM workout. This was way less than I wanted though, the wind was absolutely horrible and it was only about 43 degrees out. Absolutely froze while trying to sprint.  Should have just walked across the street to the hill by where I live and sprinted up that instead of going to the track. 

April 22, 2013

April 21, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jumps: 8' 4", 8'5", 8' 6.5", 8' 4.5", 8' 5", 8' 10", 8' 3", 8' 4.5", 8' 3.5", 8' 8", 8' 8"
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 6, 6
  • Jump Rope: 8 minutes, 37, 24, 46, 52, 60, 60
  • 10 lbs. Plate Transfer Planks: 4*2
Well last week was not supposed to be an off-week for my legs completely, but since some assholes bombed my city, and then put the city on lockdown my gym was closed Friday. It's ok, my lower back & hips were getting tired anyway, I actually feel much fresher.  Plus I still sprinted.  I was curious how jumps would go.   Well, they went well. Very well.  I feel like I'm zeroing in on form on them, really exploding forward.  I could still stand to do it more forcefully, but it's definitely getting better. Plus most importantly to this session, I don't let my feet trail behind me.  I threw them forward as I landed which resulted in the longer jumps, previously my body would almost always be 'ahead' of my feet, costing me several inches off the jumps.   

Jump rope is coming along great, I found a rope I really like there.  Now that I'm doing longer sets I can start recording them, since there will be fewer overall.  On the 46, 52, 60, and 60 I actually did not stop because I messed up, I was just gassed.  I also get shin-splints on the last few sets, I need to land softer.   Finished with some plate transfer planks, which also went great.  They are REALLY taxing for some reason, I think because your arm is crossing the median line of your body.  Here's a video of Lee Boyce doing them.  Check out his site here and his articles on T-Nation here.  A great deal of my core work, as well stretching/diagnostic stuff that I don't record on this blog are from him.  

April 18, 2013 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench (Paused Rep) (Cluster Set): 240*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*3 75*3 75*2
  • Standing Press: 145*4 155*3 135*5
  • Unilateral T-Bar Rows: 145*6 165*4 175*2
  • DB Flat: 120*4 120*3
43 minutes

That cluster set was tough! Got it done though.  They're definitely working.  People have been commenting on how large I look lately.  That can usually come from cutting. Paradoxically the more cut you are the larger you look, since better defined angles & cuts between muscles makes them look larger than if there's a layer of fat over them.  But I notice it in my shirts & pants lately.  Especially my pecs & shoulders, most likely from the land-mine laterals, and cluster sets I have been doing.  My body has had to adapt.  My shirts are tighter now than at the start of this cut, and even though I have lost several pounds (mostly off lower body where I store fat) my pants actually feel tighter around my legs & ass. Unpostable pictorial evidence suggests it is most definitely not fat.  

Anyway, rest of workout went well, got another 3 rep set on pullups!  Did standard standing press today as well, felt good.  Used wraps on the unilateral t-bar rows, definitely lets me pull more weight. I want to concentrate on the stretch at the bottom on them next week, to make sure I'm getting all the way down.  Lost a rep on each set of db flat, but not surprised since the paused rep set was heavier, as well as the t-bars. 

April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013 Sprinting

  • 100m: 1, 1 (13.88) NEW PR!!, 1 (13.66) NEW PR!!, 1 (13.87), 1 (14.13), 1 (14.32),1,1
  • Total: 800m
  • Broad Jumps: 8' 2", 8' 10", 8' 7"
Well then.  When I do well sprinting I can always feel it, there's this sort of tightness in my whole body, I just feel like everything is pulling in the same direction, I feel more compact and less like my limbs are flailing about, if that makes any sense.  I knew I had set a new PR on the 13.88 run.  Then the next one, when I got to the 80m mark which is where I usually slow down a tad, I just willed myself to actually speed up, and my hamstrings almost cramped.  Great run.  The next one I was feeling a bit gassed, and then my times trailed off.  I can always tell the run on which I completely run out of energy.  It was the 14.32 one;  my legs just felt.."empty" that's the only way I can describe it.  I feel like I'm pushing off the ground with such force when I'm doing my first few, but then afterward they just feel hollow when I run, like there's no pop in the step.  Any one of the five timed sprints here would have been records even yesterday.  

I did 800m and then stopped since I'm not conditioned enough for a full 1000m all-out.  Next week I'll probably be ready.  Definitely starting off better this year, even though I didn't get a chance to sprint really in February, I was doing it much later into the winter this year, and that helped a lot I believe.  So to finish off I did broad jumps into the sand pit.  I'm going to track those records separately on my records page; it's different than doing it in my gym, I'm landing on sand, plus from where I'm taking off, it's about a 1" dropoff into the sand-pit, so that probably adds an inch or so onto the jumps.  

April 16, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press (Cluster): 295*1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Landmine Laterals: 50*10
So obviously everyone is aware of what happened in Boston yesterday, I don't post about my location often, but it's in Boston.  I go to the Sox game in the morning, then go out and watch the marathon.  I usually work my way right down to the finish line, and where the first bomb went off is pretty much exactly the point I get to every year.  Slept like shit last night, will probably sleep like shit tonight too.  Didn't have a ton of time here at all, and the cluster set dragged.  Plus my right trap muscle felt really tight/pulled and when I would arch my back it would hurt.   Did some landmine laterals after, and called it a day, as I had to get on my way.  Taking the week off from deadlifting, had done 7 straight weeks of it, will probably do sumo again next week since it was so much fun last. 

April 14, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jumps: 7' 8", 8' 1", 8' 1", 8' 0", 8' 2", 8' 0.5", 8' 1", 8' 1"
  • 31" Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 6, 5
  • Jump Rope: 9 minutes (hit 40 twice, 31 once)
  • Row: 500m*1:55
  • Push-Up Position Plank: 1:00, 1:01
42 minutes

Posterior chain still stiff/sore/drained from leg workout Friday, wasn't expecting much on jumps, which is good because I'd have been disappointed.  Getting better at jump-rope, found a rope I really like at my gym, it's longer than the others, which means I don't smack myself in the head as often with it.   Got to 40 a couple times, and 31 once, as well as several in the high teens and low 20s!   Was going to do a full viking quest on rowing, but was pretty beat and decided to just set a benchmark for 500m, since I didn't have one set already.  

April 12, 2013 Lower Body

  • Squats (cluster): 345*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 155*3 175*3
  • Walking Lunges: 120*7 170*3
  • Straight Leg Cable Kickbacks: 110*5 120*4
  • DB Farmers Walks: 110*56 steps
  • Seated KB Rope Pulls: 28kg, 52kg
45 minutes

I don't think I could have even done 347 for a cluster of 10.  That is without a doubt my peak on 10 rep clusters.  Feels good man.  Did some bulgarians after, then walking lunges. On the walking lunges I'm actually using a preacher bar, a regular bar would be too long and unwieldy.  I have to have friends/staff put the thing on my shoulders for the heavier sets though.  If you haven't tried walking lunges I highly recommend them.  It's hard to describe what it's like being fatigued, but not beat to piss, and then doing a set of walking lunges.  I don't sweat, ever, really.  I do these things and I am literally leaving a dripping trail of it behind me.  Those big heavy single-leg multi-joint exercises get you huffing & puffing.  I had forgotten about the straight leg cable kickbacks, those are another KILLER exercise, you have to clamp down your entire core while you do them to make sure you're not just swinging your hips to move the wait.   Did some farmers walks after, then seated rope pulls.   Basically tie the end of a rope to some kettlebells, walk away carrying the rope until it's fully extended.  Sit down and while remaining upright pull the rope towards you hand over hand.  Surprisingly taxing on the midsection.

Also, here's a video of straight-leg cable kickbacks.  The guy in the video doesn't go as far back as I do, and I don't let my foot hit the ground at any point during the set.  

April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Paused Rep (Cluster Set): 225*1,1,1,1,1>235*1,1,1,1,1
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*3 75*2 75*2
  • Push Press: 205*1 225*1 235*1/2
  • Unilateral bb t-bar rows: 145*5 155*5160*5
  • DB Bench Press: 120*5 120*4
44 minutes

Well then. I like incline bench, I like paused reps, I love cluster sets.  Decided to combine all three. Started with 225, found it a tad too easy to I threw a 5 on each side after the 5th rep and finished it out.  Took about 40 seconds between each rep.  My chest feels swollen still, sore, and decimated. My whole upper body does after this. Probably the best Thursday workout I've had in ages.  Pullups went well, I'm happy even though numbers are the same as last week, the paused reps really drained my whole upper body so I'm ok with staying pat on them.  Push pressing....honestly after pullups & incline bench my upper body, triceps, and shoulders are just toasted and I have no explosiveness. Putting them back on Mondays with flat benching & rows.   unilateral t-bars went great, starting to use wraps on the last couple sets of them because the weights are getting heavy.  Finished with flat bench using dbs...somehow got an extra rep on the 2nd set over last week.  Completely shocked on that one. 

April 10, 2013 Sprinting

  • 100m: 6
  • Total: 600m
Blah.  Hamstrings were just done from sumo deadlifting yesterday.  Honestly just one of those days too.  Weather was ok, about 50.  But my posterior chain was just done, I was running flat-footed and slow the whole time.  Shins were splinting up, felt dead legged, and just could not get loose.  Right abductor was threatening to cramp up the last few.  Plus it is still cool enough out that the air feels like lead in my lungs. I cannot wait until it's 85-95 out when I'm running again, I need the heat & humidity. 

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013 Deadlifting & Olympic Lifting

  • Sumo Deadlifts: 365*1 405*1 455*1 500*X 475*1
  • Power Snatch: 135*3 155*2 165*1
  • Power Cleans: 165*1 185*1 205*1
  • High Pull: 215*1
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:00, 1:00, 1:00
  • Ab-Wheel: 10
46 minutes

Haven't done sumo deadlifts in ages so I tried them here. I think I would have had 500 if I tried 475 first, the jump was just too much from 455 to 500.  I get carried away with my jumps sometimes.  I usually do my alternative deadlifts only sporadically, but I may try doing them again next week.  Definitely feel them in my hamstrings, my right one almost cramped up a couple times.  They also feel a bit easier on my lower back which has been fatigued the last 10 days or so.   It took quite a bit out of me doing them overall though, was exhausted after.    Decided after to do my o-lifting entirely off the floor after.  Snatches are SO much easier with the momentum off the floor!  Was pretty beat after all those extra reps, but did some cleans off the floor anyway, attempt at 215 ended up being a high pull. Decided to end with some core work, did some push-up position plank presses, and really focused on keeping my scapulae retracted...wow did that cause my serratus and obliques to clamp down.   I haven't posted a video of PUPPs in a while, here's one I found on youtube.  Finished with the ab wheel and then admired my core in the mirror of the locker-room.  

April 8, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press (cluster of 10): 285*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Bench Press (paused rep): 285*1
  • Pendlay Rows: 155*10 185*5 205*4
  • Behind The Neck Presses: 135*7 145*4 155*3
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 70*3 70*3 70*3
  • Landmine Lateral Raises: 45*10 55*5
46 minutes
  • Jump Rope: 6 minutes
Got my cluster of 10 on 285.  Again taking a bellyful of air before a rep makes SO much of a difference.  The first few reps I grinded out because I wanted to see if it got any easier with air in the belly.  The next 7 were easier than those 3 by far.  If you're not sure what it means to take air into your belly; inhale deeply.  If you're chest puffs out you're doing it wrong. If your belly presses out, you're doing it right.  If you're having trouble, try laying on your back and focus on breathing in slowly, with a hand resting flat on your stomach. Visualize the air filling your stomach and making your hand rise up slowly.

So yeah, cluster went great, I think I may actually try 295 for a cluster this coming week.  Threw in Pendlay rows, getting better at them.  BTN Presses went a little better this week than last, getting back into the groove with them. Also added reps on the NG pullups, so that's good.  Dropped weight a tad on landmines since I won't to focus on getting reps in since I'm still new to them, I need to get my body used to the pattern with them.  Finished with more jumprope.  Hit 30 times!  Also got 20 a couple times, and 17 as well.  Will do it again Thursday.  I notice it hits my calves a bit when I do it.  Good times.  Also, weighed in at 203 lbs. post workout. 

April 7, 2013 Conditioning

  • Broad Jumps: 7' 4", 7' 10", 8' 4", 8' 0", 8' 0", 8' 1.5", 8' 0", 7' 9", 8' 4.5", 7' 9.5", 8' 1.5"
  • Jump Rope: 6:15
  • Plyo Bench Clap Pushups: 6, 5
29 minutes

Bought a tape measure at Home Depot since the one at my gym disappeared.  Been over two weeks since I did broad jumps.  Still not bad, hit a peak of 8' 4.5".  As I'm cutting a few more pounds off I assume I'll get another couple inches on the average, plus as I refine form and keep practicing it should get better.  I need to stay disciplined on these and not get all loose with my form on them.  Decided to try jump rope after, since it's so easy to do.  Not sure how I'm going to track it, since I'm not going to stop and record each time I mess up and write how many times I jumped it successfully.  Maybe just the highlights?  I got to 16, 15, 14, and 10 a few times.  It's surprisingly intense.  Will do again Monday. 

April 5, 2013 Lower Body

  • Squats: 315*1 335*1 355*1 335*2
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 135*5 155*5 175*2
  • Walking Lunges: 110*7 160*3
  • Pin Squats: 265*1 275*1
  • Paloffs: 100*8 110*8
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops: 70*9
42 minutes

Was in a bit of a hurry, still got a good workout in. Wish I had squatted more, considering I got a cluster at 335 last week.  May try 345 for a cluster this coming week. REALLY loving cluster work right now.  Not doing the cluster let me put up some better reps/weights on subsequent exercises.   The walking lunges just absolutely decimate me, I'm doing fine, I do them, and then I'm drenched in sweat. 

April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013 Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press (Cluster): 235*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Pullups: 75*3 75*3 75*2 75*2
  • Push Press: 205*1 225*1 235*1
  • Unilateral bb t-bar rows: 135*5 145*5 155*5
  • DB Flat: 120*5 120*3
45 minutes

Cluster went well, should have gone with 240-245 probably.  I was lethargic at the start of this though, did not have a ton of energy.   Pullups went well, really wanted 3 on that third set.   Push pressing is definitely not benefiting from being on a different day from benching & rowing, but I'll leave it here. It's not being hurt at least.   On the bb t-bar rows (I really need to figure out what the real name of these things is) my left hand's grip was significantly worse than my right hand. Noticed this a couple weeks ago too. Not sure why.   Finished with a couple sets of db flat benching.  

April 3, 2013 Sprinting

  • 100m: 1, 1(14.37), 1 (14.34), 1(14.31)
  • Total: 400m
I cannot describe how awful the wind was.  It was such a bright sunny day, I figured it'd be nice out, sun felt warm even if it was only 45 or so.  But the wind...my goodness.  It was about a steady 25 mph and gusted up to about 40 several times.  Real swirling wind too, made it a pain in the ass to run.  Still, got 4 in at least, and next week the forecast looks much better! 

April 2, 2013 Lower Body

  • Deadlift: 405*1 435*1 455*1
  • Hanging Power Snatch: 135*1 145*1 155*1
  • Hanging Power Clean: 185*1 185*1 195*1 205*1
  • Power Cleans: 185*1 195*1 205*1
  • Ab-Wheel: 12, 12
37 minutes

Good session, kept DLs not too heavy.  Snatching went well, need to focus on snap up overhead more, I feel like focus is such a huge part of the olympic lifts that gets overlooked.  Did some hanging power cleans, and then regular power cleans. May do cleans strictly off the floor for a few weeks, it's a lot of fun and the weight feels easier to toss up.  I did clip my right knee on the 205 attempt on the power cleans. Good thing I was fatigued or I probably would have popped it off.  Finished with some ab wheel for mah red hawt abbzzzz y

April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013 Upper Body

  • Bench Press (Cluster Set): 275*1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
  • Bench Press (Paused Rep): 285*1
  • BB Rows: 245*5 265*5 275*5 285*4
  • Behind The Neck Press: 135*5 145*4 155*3
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 70*3 70*2 70*2
  • Landmine Lateral Raises: 50*6 60*4
43 minutes

Another great session; got the 275 cluster fairly easily, took a tad longer than I wanted to, but still averaged about 45 seconds between reps.  Absolutely love these cluster reps.  Next week is the real test, going for 285 and a cluster of 10 again. I feel like the 275 this week was only marginally more difficult than the 265 last week, which I absolutely smoked, so we shall see.  BB Rows went odd, my back felt pretty fatigued for some reason.    I'm calling standing presses behind the head 'behind the neck presses' which I guess is the standard name for them.  Anyway it was odd doing them for the first time in a while, hopefully I put up better numbers next week.  Despite not liking standard standing presses very much, they're what I'm used to now.   Did some neutral grip pullups, had a bit of a pain in my left elbow while doing them, it felt almost bruised.  It's fine now, but I'll keep an eye on it.  The session was getting a bit long, so I did a couple sets of landmine lateral rasies and scooted.  Really love these things, I know I say it every week, but I really really love them.   Also, weight is at 204 right now.  That should start going down a bit more now that I'm sprinting again.